Wishing for Fall
Well, it finally happened - the summertime slump has caught up with me.
The garden has passed its viridescent prime. Although I’m still enjoying my daily harvest, I’m also starting to feel ready to be done with the morning watering and the constant attention the plants have required of me to keep them safe from weather and four-legged thieves (cough, cough SQUIRRELS). The wild lands around here, too, are beginning their decline into autumn - though they’ve insisted on holding on to more sage-y hues than I’ve seen in many summers. And then there’s the morning air, just beginning to promise cooler weather, and the slant of the sun that teases my heart into thinking summer has passed…but it’s still hot. And I’m left feeling rather dusty and worn, ready for the turn of season that’s still more than a month away.
Mostly this manifests as me wanting to take a nap so long that I wake up only when the leaves start to change. A reverse hibernation, if you will. And I’d probably adopt this strategy, too, if I could come to terms with all of the things I’d miss during that blissful sleep - but I can’t. Because even though I’m more than done with this season, so many wonderfully fabulous things have happened in the past week alone - and I know there are more in store in the weeks that will pass between now and the relief of fall. So I’m keeping my head up and my eyes locked on October.
Last weekend, “wonderfully fabulous” meant seeing Emily get married in an aspen grove tucked into the mountains west of Denver. She and I worked together to make a special necklace for the occasion - and it paired so wonderfully with her blush-colored bohemian gown. Ah - it was perfect. Perfect, perfect - though I didn’t take a single picture so you’ll have to take my word for it! The day was so full of smiles that I came home with sore cheeks. No complaints here.
Last Monday, we finally (FINALLY!) went truck camping. I won’t lie - the plan to build out the truck bed was one of the selling points when we made the leap into truck ownership last fall. A couple of 2x6’s, laid lengthwise into notches cleverly and conveniently molded into the bed itself, with a couple pieces of plywood laid over the top and we were good to go.
We drove out east to the grasslands, beyond the reach of light pollution from town, to catch the Perseid meteor shower. It’s become our annual tradition to watch - and you KNOW I love a good tradition. Last year we watched from the same exact spot - our eyes seeking shooting stars through the haze of wildfire smoke that hung over the front range the whole summer. Two years ago, we sat in a field outside Petaluma, owls swooping overhead. Three years ago, we laid out in the mountains above Petaluma. Four years ago, Half Moon Bay just south of San Francisco. And so on.
The mosquitos were absolute murder, undeterred by our campfire smoke and the copious amounts of insect repellent we applied, and a nearly full moon made it hard to see all but the brightest meteors. So we kept our eyes open till about ten and then, for a few hours, we slept.
Around 4am, after the moon had set and a cool wind began to blow in from the east (keeping the mosquitos at bay), we roused ourselves and settled back by the campfire. And then? Magic happened. In that hour of true darkness, between moonset and the first glimmer of light in the eastern sky, we saw so many shooting stars. Maybe more than I’ve ever seen at one time. So many that I quickly ran out of wishes for myself and instead started making wishes for the people I love.
On Thursday, I finally finished and sent off a new collection of pieces for The Artisan’s Bench. I know I already wrote a little bit about this in a post on Instagram, but creating this group of pieces was a revelation. I didn’t feel the need to share progress while I was creating. I didn’t feel like I needed to prove I was spending time in the studio or working hard. I felt so free - more free than I’ve felt with my smithing since I was in school.
It’s just one more step, one more shift, in the direction I want to go. One more connection back to my intentions to live a Creative Life. So I’m going to spend a little more time making sure I’m not rushing my work. I’m going to remind myself daily that I don’t need justification in order to make. And whatever I come up with? I’ll share when it’s really, truly ready.
Now today - Eric and I are referring to today as the Great Basil Harvest of 2019. Because, well, we harvested a whole heck of a lot of basil. And then we pulled the leaves from the stems. Washed them and let them drip-dry. Threw that fragrant greenery into a blender with some pine nuts, a whole bulb’s worth of garlic cloves, and a ridiculous amount of olive oil.
And just like that - enough pesto for many, many meals. Chickpea pasta with pesto has become a staple dinner around here - and this batch, frozen in pre-portioned amounts, will feed us throughout the fall.
Which is coming. I’ll just keep reminding myself - fall is on the way.